We’ll surpass expectations of Nigerians in building prosperous nation – Akpabio

Godswill Akpabio


By Miftaudeeen Raji

The newly sworn-in President of the Senate and former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, has vowed that the 10th Senate will surpass the expectations of Nigerians in building a prosperous nation.

Akpabio made this vow while delivering his inaugural speech after his swearing-in Abuja on Tuesday.

Recall that, Akpabio, who is the preferred candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC was sworn in as the Senate President after polling 63 votes, beating his rival, Abdulaziz Yari, who scored 46 votes.

He said, “Together, we shall reach and surpass the expectations of the Nigerian people regarding us, and our roles in building a better, safer, more inclusive, prosperous, efficient and ethical country.

“I assure you, Distinguished Senators, that I am mindful of the enormous responsibilities that this position calls for. You will have my cooperation in all matters and our joint efforts will be one of teamwork. I extend my sincere hands of fellowship to all of us, including those who, at a time, may have had different opinions regarding the leadership of the Senate.

“These expressions of differing and opposing opinions and views are but the fabric that democracy is made of. Democracy, ultimately, has to do with choice, and there can be no real choice where and when there are no alternatives.

“It is time now to go forward with the task set before us as a collective body – the promulgation of laws and enactments for the well-being and security of the country and as a check on the executive arm of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in our oversight functions,” he said.

The Senate President, however, urged the senators of the 10th Assembly to put national interests first.

He said, “Today marks a historic moment as we embark on a new chapter in the Senate. Distinguished Senators, today, I stand before you humbled, honoured, and filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and responsibility as I acknowledge and accept your call to serve as the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I assure you that I will discharge the responsibilities of this office with utmost dedication, integrity, and fairness.


“I am humbled because your choice reflects the collective will of the Senate, this assembly of Nigerians whose role and responsibilities for Nigeria is at the apex of the demands of true patriotism, loyalty and devotion to the country. As the Senate, you represent the entire country and your choice is a reflection of the choice of your constituents, of all Nigeria. And I thank you very sincerely for it.

“Many of the challenges we have had, and many of the defining moments of our historic journey as a nation towards true democracy, have been met and made by those who have hitherto occupied this seat. I am therefore immensely grateful not only for the great trust you have placed in me today by electing me as the President of the Senate but also for the opportunity to serve our great nation, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Government is a continuum and the Senate is no less so. We shall, therefore, further strengthen the legislative space in continuation of the laudable efforts made by the 9th Senate under the able leadership of H.E. Senator Ahmed Lawan, GCON, President of the 9th Senate. Chief among these are:

“i. Gender matters, with specific affirmative provisions to guarantee women’s inclusivity;

ii. Issues relating to persons with special needs and equality;

iii. Engaging, empowering and rewarding our resourceful and innovative youths in terms of protection of intellectual innovations and property, and improved access to finance for technological start-ups. We must recognise and prepare for a mid-21st century global economy that places a premium on intellectual content and knowledge, and our young men and women must be supported to engage competitively;

“iv. Expansion of the revenue streams available to the country, especially from our huge but largely unregulated natural and solid mineral resources base. These additional sources of revenue will build the nation’s resilience to shocks and stresses resulting from the fluctuation of oil prices in the international market;

“v. We will, as a forward-looking Senate, pass laws that emphasise economic viability, social acceptability and environmental sustainability, to encourage alternate and green technologies without prejudicing our developmental needs.”

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